Thomas Tuchel was back on media duty at Cobham this afternoon ahead of our return to Premier League action, and the boss issued an update on four Chelsea players’ availability for the meeting with Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
Having enjoyed some time off, club managers always wait nervously to see what state members of their squad return from international duty in, and Tuchel was no different. This time there was the added complication provided by Covid regulations for those travelling, or indeed not travelling, to South American countries on the UK's red list.
In light of this, there have been reports Thiago Silva will be banned for two Chelsea games for not joining up with Brazil, even though he would have had to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days on his return to the UK. Tuchel gave the latest on that developing situation, but first provided an injury update on three of his players.
Tuchel ruled N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic out of Villa
‘N’Golo got injured in the Liverpool game and still suffers a little bit. We are trying with N’Golo for Tuesday. This looks pretty good.
‘For Christian unfortunately he came yesterday on crutches. He has an ankle injury [that will rule him out] for about 10 days.’
The boss had good news on Romelu Lukaku after talk he had a thigh issue
‘Maybe he had some problems but he came back two days ago, he trained yesterday and today full, no problems at all.’
Tuchel gave his thoughts on the Thiago Silva situation
‘Right now Thiago is not officially out. The chairman is still in negotiations. I’m waiting for the final decision. For me it’s enough if I get the final decision tomorrow, we will take the latest decision tomorrow morning, and we still have hope he can play.
‘If we sent him, he would be out in a hotel room for 10 days, not able to train. These are the travel restrictions, there is no way around them and that is right.
‘Of course, the clubs want their players to play, the national teams as well, and the players want also to play. If it ends in a situation where the players cannot play for the national team, who then get them suspended for their league, that makes no sense, not for the fans or football or the national team or clubs.
‘There could be a solution we move the games from red-listed countries to green-listed countries, like we did in the Champions League when we played in Romania and Seville.’